Activist Sadhana distributes nests for homing sparrows

Chennai: It has been almost 10 years now since Sadhana Rajkumar started distributing nest boxes to encourage sparrows to start living in the city once again. The birds, once considered extinct in the city, are now back here and all the credit goes to this Besant Nagar resident who was so keen on bringing these little birds back home.

“It all began with my mother’s casual remark about not being able to spot sparrows back in 2009. I said it must be somewhere but as I started searching in my garden, I read an article about sparrows becoming extinct around the world. Then I realised what my mother said was true and instead of mourning the loss, I thought I should do something about this,” said Sadhana as she recalled how she started her mission to save sparrows.

“With my own experience with sparrows, I called up a carpenter who happened to be my student earlier and explained my idea of nest boxes. He enthusiastically agreed and that worked. I then ordered more boxes that he made from waste wood and distributed them to my friends,” she added.

She has not stopped after that. She later proceeded to Marina beach and gave boxes there for free. After working on distribution of these nests in many areas, she soon had people know her and come to her door to collect the boxes from her.

As she started distributing more, she realised using terracotta pots instead of normal ones was more efficient in all ways and she began hunting for potters who would agree to take up her design.

She finally met Perumal, a potter from a village near Veppampattu, who agreed to do it. It is unique design that is ideal for birds and allows them to fly out and get back in. It is made according to specifications.

While people blame radiation and mobile signals for the extinction of these birds, Sadhana disagrees. “Hunger, thirst and then shelter. In my observation, the main reason for their disappearance is food and water. It is very easy to get them back. All it takes it a good place for them to live in,” said this sparrow conservationist.

According to Sadhana, sparrows are very essential for human beings. “We need to save the sparrows for ourselves. A simple example is that sparrows feed on mosquitoes and insects. Since there aren’¬ít enough sparrows to feed on this larva, we see that the mosquito population is on the rise. Bring back the sparrows for your own good,” said Sadhana Rajkumar.

In 10 years, Sadhana has distributed 1,800 nests to people around the country, right from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. She continues to get back sparrows and has succeeded in doing that as well.

She can be contacted at 9445249240.

Article by Sharmada V.

NT Bureau